The Ducks open the Near Year with a road contest against the Arizona Coyotes this evening at Gila River Arena. (6 p.m. PT, TV: FOX Sports West, Radio: AM 830). This is the back half of a brief two-game road trip that began with a 5-2 loss on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. The Ducks have an 11-10-2 record in their first game of a new year, outscoring their opponents 61-56. In the last eight years, Anaheim has gone 5-2-1 in its first game of January.
This is the third meeting of the season between the Ducks and Coyotes, which has seen each club win on home ice. These teams opened the regular season on Oct. 3 in Anaheim, a 2-1 Ducks victory. The Coyotes earned a 4-3 shootout victory in the second meeting of the season on Nov. 27 at Gila River Arena. Ryan Getzlaf leads active Ducks in career scoring vs. Arizona with 65 points (19g/46a) in 71 career games. Meanwhile, Jakob Silfverberg has four points (2g/2a) in three of his last four games at Gila River Arena.
The Coyotes enter tonight's game in second place in the Pacific Division with a 22-16-4 record (48 points), two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights. Though the Coyotes have gone just 9-10-1 on home ice, they've posted a 16-6-3 mark on the road. They've gone 4-6-0 in their last 10, and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues at home on New Year's Eve.
Arizona has gone 14-3-1 when scoring a power-play goal this season, and is 16-3-1 when Carl Soderberg records a point. Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes in scoring this season with 32 points (7g/25a) in 42 games. The 23-year-old center leads the team in home scoring (15 points, 3g/12a) and his 10 assists since Dec. 8 are the fifth most in the NHL. Schmaltz was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome on Nov. 25, 2018.